A fed bear is a dead bear
Garbage is the number one attractant for bears. Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen (RDOS) staff and volunteers are restarting curbside checks. This will help identify homes where garbage has been placed at the curb the night before collection. Stickers will be placed on cans that are not wildlife resistant containers and educational letters will be sent to property owners.
The RDOS requires homes in Electoral Areas D, E, F and I to place garbage at the curb on the day of collection only, unless they are using a wildlife resistant container. Wildlife containers include reinforced and lockable garbage carts and reinforced garbage enclosures.
Naramata (within Electoral Area E), is a Bear Smart community; a designation recognized by the province. This program is a voluntary, preventative conservation measure that encourages communities, businesses and individuals to work together to minimize access to non-natural food sources such as garbage, that would attract bears to the community. The goal is to address the root causes of human-bear conflicts, which reduces the risk to human safety and private property, as well as the number of bears that are destroyed each year. Prior to earning its Bear Smart designation, human-bear conflicts in the community would result in the destruction of an average of five bears a year.
“Some residents moving to the RDOS may not be aware garbage kills bears,” explains RDOS Chair and Electoral Area E Director, Karla Kozakevich. “Conducting nighttime checks will allow the RDOS to educate new residents who may be learning to live in bear country.” Putting garbage out on the day of collection also reduces the opportunity for animals such as raccoons to open bags and bins. Having food waste outside overnight can also attract rodents.
Karla Kozakevich, Chair
Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen
Solid Waste Management Coordinator
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